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Title: Sound branding : the role of music in consumer perceptions, behaviours, and practitioner beliefs
Author: Wong, Alison C.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 2822
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis investigates the role of music in branding and its impacts on consumer perceptions and behaviours. Sound branding (also called 'audio branding' or 'sonic branding') is the use of sound to represent a brand, build a brand identity, and influence consumers. It is both a complex, multidisciplinary research topic and a real world practice. This thesis examines the relationship between academic and practitioner perspectives, and uses this as the starting point for examining how music (rather than the larger category of 'sound') is used in sound branding to influence consumer perceptions and behaviours. A series of interviews with sound branding practitioners sought to understand their beliefs about how sound branding can influence consumers' perceptions and behaviours (Study 1). Practitioners argued that sound can deeply connect consumers to brands through eliciting emotional responses and increasing brand relevance to consumers, and interacting with other sensory modalities but, in their terms, they have yet to 'prove' the value of sound branding in order to develop it into an expert discipline within the broader branding industry. Some practitioners expressed interest in understanding how sound interacts with other sensory modalities in branding, but viewed their practice of multisensory branding as limited. The remainder of the thesis investigates the larger topic of sound branding through two foci this identified: namely the role of affective states induced by music (Study 2), and the contribution of music to perceptions of brand 'personality' and their relationship to consumer traits (Study 3). Study 2 used an online shopping task preceded by a music manipulation to investigate the effects of music (in sound branding) and colour on consumers' affective states and their subsequent buying behaviour using an online shopping task, which was preceded by music manipulation. The study showed that music-induced mood states affect consumers' willingness to pay a higher price for products that are associated with the same arousing qualities as the music. Moreover, congruency in the arousing qualities of the music and colour of the shopping website had an increased positive effect on consumers' brand perceptions and behaviour, extending understanding of congruence in multisensory branding. Study 3 used an online self-report design to investigate the influence of sound and logo in colour form on consumers' perceptions of a brand's personality, and whether this is mediated by consumers' own music preferences and personalities. The study showed that music can influence perceptions of a brand's personality and that brand personalities created using music are liked more by people with similar personality traits to that of the brand. In addition, music genres can strengthen or mediate brand personality perceptions when presented in conjunction with colour. Together these findings highlight the importance of congruence within the practice of sound branding: sound branding is not experienced by consumers in isolation of other factors and should be considered in relation to other sensory modalities in branding.
Supervisor: Dibben, Nicola Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available